It seemed as though Aston Villa might look to conduct some much-needed changes in the January transfer window in a bid to get their promotion hunt back on track but so far business has been moving at a snail’s pace.
Dean Smith has secured just two new arrivals – a goalkeeper and a defender – and considering how far off the pace the Villans are from the rest of the top six hopefuls it is not looking likely that the club will be able to make up the difference.
What Villa need are game changers – just look at what Aleksandar Mitrovic did to a struggling Fulham side last season – but that is not going to happen until some of the deadwood is cleared from the squad.
The Express and Star name first team fringe duo Scott Hogan and Birkir Bjarnason as two who are on the chopping block this month, with exits likely to be sanctioned if replacements come in, but there are a number of others who should be worried about their futures at Villa Park – namely a trio who have done little to convince this season.
Excluding the likes of Micah Richards, whose wages make him an impossibility to move on, the first name on the list is defender Ahmed Elmohamady, who seems to have found himself dropping down the pecking order like a tonne of bricks in recent weeks.
The preferred right back while Alan Hutton covered for the injured Neil Taylor on the left, the young James Bree took his spot in the starting XI and now the Welsh left back is fit again it is the Scottish international starring on the right.
Quite clearly falling out of favour under Smith, his exit would bring in some much needed cash as well as clearing his wages off the books.
The other pair are both midfielders who have been nothing short of awful this season; Mile Jedinak and Henri Lansbury.
Granted, the latter has suffered a host of injury problems but that gives more reason to seal his exit, for he is just draining valuable resources that could be used on new arrivals this month.
Jedinak is a big earner and so even just cancelling his contract and telling him to find a new club on a free would be worthwhile for the immediate future.